10 Great Books For Men – Volume 1

This page was overhauled and updated on the 30th of June 2017. Volume 2, with another 10 book recommendations will be released in the mid-future.

1. The Concise 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene


The 48 Laws of Power is a book detailing the fundamental precepts behind the mechanisms of human psychosocial manipulation. It details an aspect of cunning, explains it, and then gives an example of its manifestation in history. I recommend the concise version over the full, as it cuts down on the copious historical examples given to illustrate the laws whilst retaining the knowledge necessary to comprehensively understand the laws.


2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius


A diary written by an introspective and inquisitive long-dead Roman emperor with a strong grip on Stoic philosophy. Being that the text was not written with the intent it be published, it’s written self-critically in the first person, making it a deeply intimate and relatable read. This is the most authoritative text in this niche to survive from antiquity, helpful as a spiritual guide for how one should live their life.


3. The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence by Baltasar Gracian


A book of incredibly insightful social observations on the nature of human cunning from the keen mind of a renaissance Spanish philosopher. The proverbs are spectacular and retain their relevance in the modern era, and as each proverb only takes up only half a page to a page, the book is easily picked up and put down. This book is a great complement to the 48 Laws of Power, which borrowed from parts of this text. This book has two titles, the alternate title being “The Art of Worldly Wisdom”. This book is the easiest read on this list.


4. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Antifragility is a an interesting book based on a novel philosophical concept. The author’s presupposition, is that some things are fragile (break under pressure), others are robust (resistant to pressure), and that others actually gain from pressure – which is what he dubs antifragility. Finding ways to incorporate the concept of antifragility into one’s character and decisions would lead to immense power, hence its inclusion in this list. I will warn you in advance however, this book is not an easy read. It’s easily the most difficult text on this list.


5. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie


This book will teach you about social interactions and how to make yourself more charming and likeable to others. Be careful to balance the methods given in this book with the Machiavellian tenets outlined in The 48 Laws of Power, as the books tend to contradict one another in their views. Do not be frivolously charming, your charm should serve you rather than enslave you into a passive nice guy role. When you charm to appease rather than to influence, your wield charm ineffectively.


6. Mastery by Robert Greene


This is “the book of monk mode.” Robert Greene discusses what it takes to master something and looks at various masters and how they became masters in their respective fields. The gist of the book is: put 10,000 hours into something, identify a master in the field you’re working in and attempt to have him mentor you. This book is about applying yourself to an art to reap success.


7. The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

The only book out there which has compiled the ideas under the TRP umbrella and explained them in-depth. This is “the red pill in book form.” Think a guy needs help, want him to take the red pill, but don’t want to risk your reputation? Buy him a copy of The Rational Male. If he hates it and doesn’t see the value in it, at least you tried. You have the plausible deniability of saying you were misled by the Amazon reviews. You don’t have that when you show a guy the TRP message board. Rollo’s book is the perfect way to introduce someone to the red pill without risking a friendship.

8. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

“I don’t know how to lift! How do I lift? Even if I join a gym and pay for a personal trainer, how do I know I can trust them to give me good advice?”

You can’t, and your personal trainer will probably be a don’t give a fuck steroid injecting salesman rather than someone who has your best interest at heart. Don’t waste your money on a personal trainer, buy this book instead. Read it inside out, take yourself down to a gym, practice your form with the bar and begin weightlifting. It will take you courage to start working out, but this book will tell you everything you need to know to get you there. Alternatively, if you have the space and money, you can set up the necessary equipment in your home. Mark Rippetoe is a master in his field. With this book, you are in good hands.

9. The Way of Men by Jack Donovan

This book talks about how to be good with other men, what it takes to really “be a man.” This book is about the nature of man and what makes an effective man. Any male young or old interested in the cultivation of his masculinity should, as such, find this to be a compelling read.

10. No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover

I never was a chronic nice guy, so I did not need a book to teach me how to “stop being too nice.” However, repeatedly I have heard glowing reviews about this book from self-confessed former nice guys. If you are someone who is “too nice” this book will probably change your life by making you less of a doormat. If “being too kind” is not something that’s ever plagued you, give this one a miss. This is the book for spineless guys looking to reclaim their spine. If you are a pussy with too much pride to be honest with yourself about yourself, buy this anyway.

38 comments

  1. Can you suggest a good reading order for these books for an absolute starter to the Red Pill Philosophy? I’m looking for a deep understanding that can help me on how to grow into a bold and perfect man from a 22 year old stupid boy. I will really appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfection is for little girls and immature and delusional people. There’s no perfection, my friend. That would be a ‘red pill’ rule.

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      1. No perfection true. Top professional athletes, great artists, musicians and writers are all obsessed with perfection. Yet they never achieve it so they continue to hone their crafts. Show me a so-called “talented” person and I’ll show you a perfectionist. Some people are “naturals” but that only means they learn faster.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s not all Red Pill here.
      Start with Rollos books and the move onto his posts, then you can expand on some Bloggers that resonate with you on his sidebar in ‘Blogroll’ like Heartiste, Black Label Logic, IM and of course you should listen to the Mark Baxter Podcast.
      Not thaat many books out there on TRP.
      Seeya

      -IJ

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  2. Excellent work. Odins ,The Havamal is one of the best peice of works for men to be men. Odin also points out the dangers of women -and he would be a big thumbs up for this website ò

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  3. An excellent list, Gracian and Taleb especially. Taleb’s book of aphorisms (The Bed of Procrustes) is a good introduction to his strategies in the tradition of La Rouchefoulchauld.

    I.M.- Have you read any of Theodore Dalrymple’s works (Spoiled Rotten, Junk Medicine, Not with a Bang but with a Whimper etc). You remind me of him both stylistically and in terms of clarity of expression. I look forward to reading your forthcoming book.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great list, but I really missed some essential titles from it, like David Deida’s “The Way of the Superior Man”, Robert Bly’s “Iron John”, Sam Keen’s “Fire in the Belly” and Richard Rohr’s “From Wild Man to Wise Man” (earlier: “The Wild Man’s Journey”). Thanks, hails.

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  5. Great list, would be interested in what else you’ve been reading over the years.. I’ve seen pictures on your twitter before showing a collection of quite a few of the “Penguin Classics.” I’ve read Mediations as well as quite a few others on this list.

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      1. just finished Rational Male and about to start book two, Preventative Medicine. then, hopefully, i’ll be starting on your book.

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  6. Nice list, read some of the books and plan on reading the others; did you happen to read the book “33 Strategies of war” by Robert Greene, and if you did read it, is it in your opinion worth reading ?

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    1. Depending on how well you’re doing, you may want to start with Mastery by Robert Greene. I highly recommend it. 48 laws of power, Meditations and art of worldly wisdom are great follow ups as well

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  7. Much needed subs:

    The way of the superior man.
    There is no such thing as a negative emotion.
    Games people play.
    Jonathan Livingston seagull.
    Blue truth.
    Wild nights.

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  8. Bought a copy of Taleb’s Anti-fragile, fantastic book! (Thanks for the recommendation)
    Gonna have a read through his other 4 books (and then hunt down a copy of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)

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  9. Great list, of which i have read 6 out of it already (2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9). Of these, i don’t like Meditation much, i think Letters from a Stoics is a far better book. Will read The Art of Wordly Wisdom now thanks to this list hope its as good as the others.

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  10. Hello, I’m realy surpised that the second book on the top list, is one of the most humanist, moral book I’ve ever read, and still drink the pure water. I appreciate that you respect this emperor. I expected to find books talking about how to deal with perfidous people and systems, I’ve read somewhere in your comments that you separate the cold pragmatism of realities, and the moral choices. I have to say that I’m still wondering how to be a good man, in a moral path, and the fact that I have to manage with the dark triad of people, at work and at everythings. If you could speak about this subject in your book I would be very attentive. If you spoke about that in a paying article, please let me know which one it is.
    Regards.

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